Friday, 11 May 2012

Labour Dowd's runaway 'gravy train' District Auditor responds

That even Labour councillors are anxious about the way Cllr Mark Dowd behaves as chair of Merseytravel is not news. It is fairly openly discussed. But like an old style city boss he turns on those who challenge him. But now it appears he has exhausted their patience. The Liverpool Post is now carrying two stories on it's website. One by the City Editor which begins:
Merseyside’s transport authority is in chaos over possible broken contract laws, reports City Editor David Bartlett reports
It includes in its appendix a review of consultants, compiled by a Merseytravel official, that had been used by the authority over recent years at vast expense to the taxpayer.

Read More

And a second one

which confirms:

It has emerged the authority was plunged into crisis in February when a small group of (Labour) councillors wrote a highly critical report of chief executive Mr Scales and chairman Cllr Mark Dowd.
The unsigned report made a series of damaging allegations about poor governance at the organisation.

Most revealing:

The Labour councillors’ report was sent to the Labour leaders of the district councils across Merseyside and was referred to the district auditor.
It claimed Mr Scales had a reputation as “a control freak” and said Cllr Dowd had failed to manage him properly.
The report also said that prior to December there was a culture at the organisation that allowed councillors not to present invoices or receipts for business trips.

It said: “The practice demonstrates... and perhaps more than anything explains the ‘gravy train’ mentality that exists in the organisation.”
“The reality is (Merseytravel) was an old boys club, with little or no effective scrutiny.
“There is still resistance to effective scrutiny with obstacles being put in place which can only be described as the old guard within Merseytravel afraid of change or frightened that the level of scrutiny will raise an awful lot of questions.”

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